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Solutions to Reduce Systemic Inequities in Academia

Solutions to Reduce Systemic Inequities in Academia
Reported by
Arianne Papa

Posted December 04, 2020

Arianne Papa is a PhD candidate in physiology and cellular biophysics at Columbia University.

Presented By

Science Alliance

The New York Academy of Sciences

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, white males made up 53% of all full-time professors in 2018. And while the "STEM pipeline" is becoming more diverse--more than 40% of women and roughly 15% of people of color receive their PhDs in STEM fields--colleges and universities need to implement inclusive policies to initiate change on a large scale.

On October 9, 2020, the New York Academy of Sciences hosted a webinar with Georgetown University Medical Center affiliates to share their progressive efforts to decrease systemic inequities and improve workplace culture at their institution. In 2019, the university launched the Bias Reduction and Improvement Coaching (BRIC) program to raise awareness of unconscious bias and attenuate systemic barriers at institutions with the hope of promoting diversity and inclusion in STEM.


  • Bias impacts application, hiring, and promotion processes, as people make decisions based on shortcuts, unconscious preferences, and assumptions.
  • The Bias Reduction and Improvement Coaching (BRIC) program brings together a group of individuals from various demographic backgrounds for training in the skills and language needed to raise awareness of bias.
  • This “train the trainer” model empowers people to feel confident starting conversations about prejudice and how to mitigate bias in their respective departments and workplaces.
Reducing Systemic Inequities in Academia